Goodbye 2013, hello 2014

A few of my friends have been doing annual recap posts so I decided to get in on the fun. I’ve been so terrible at writing posts here this year…maybe this will start a new trend.

2013 was a good gaming year for me! When Sony and Microsoft announced their new gaming consoles I immediately pre-ordered them both then got to work making extra $$ to pay for them. So when launch came I had the cash tucked away in an account ear-marked for consoles and nothing else. Sure, working 3 jobs for a while over the summer sucked, but to me it was worth it to have guilt-free next gen gaming when the time came.

It’s been over a month now and I still can’t decide which of the new consoles I like more, though the Xbox One gets a lot more use as a tool since the cable box is hooked up through it. Both systems have a bright future once development ramps up for them, and I’m glad I have ’em both.

At the same time I feel like I’m getting a lot more picky about the “big” games I play. My favorite games this year were The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto 5. I don’t know if I can choose between them since they’re so apples and oranges. TLOU was some heavy shit while GTA5 was mostly just crazy capers.

Looking past those two games though, nothing else much stands out. I played a lot of games but none of them made a huge impression.

My favorite genre these days is the survival/building genre. Games like Minecraft, Terraria and Starbound. I just like creating things in games, but if there’s no struggle to do it, I lose interest. Unfortunately technology hasn’t seemed to keep up with game developers and all these games are decidedly retro in look and feel. I daydream of the time when we have a game like this done up in a AAA game engine.

As for MMOs, my love/hate relationship with them persists. I think I love the genre except I really don’t. What I really want is a ‘virtual world’ that I can roam around and be a loner in, but what we have are mostly theme park MMOs that are designed for folks who want to play with others and socialize while doing so. There are exceptions, but then I run into time issues. Games like Wurm Online should be perfect for me, but they require so much time that I can’t really enjoy them.

I’m looking forward to Trove and Everquest Next Landmark as possible games that fit my play style. I’ve been fortunate enough to get into betas of the other high profile MMOs heading our way and found that they don’t really excite me much. Nor can I find much motivation to follow my friends who’ve been returning to and enjoying older games like WoW or LOTRO.

Gaming aside, I’ve been started to read more again, and have been dabbling in watching anime for the first time in a few years.

My resolution for 2014 is to learn more and game less. Some days I look back at the amount of time I’ve spent gaming with really not much to show for it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…gaming is a way to relax and re-charge, after all. But if I set aside say 25% of the time I spend gaming and spend it learning something…I think it’d be good for my mental well-being. It doesn’t matter if I’m learning about building catapults or home dentistry or a new programming language or how to read Japanese. Just the process of learning something and keeping the mind sharp will be a good thing for me.

I hope everyone who comes cruising past this blog now and then had a great holiday season and I hope you’ll all have a prosperous and peaceful 2014!